Best Way To Break Your Intermittent Fast: 6 Easy Tips
Are you on intermittent fasting and wish to know more about it? How to break your intermittent fast of 16 hours? Well, that is the question running on everyone’s mind. The best way to break your intermittent fast would be to carefully include all your necessary nutrients in the meals during the open period. Intermittent fasting means going 16 hours without any food and then breaking your fast by eating during the next eight hours. Intermittent fasting doesn’t mean cutting calories, but it actually focuses on limiting calories to a certain time frame during your entire day. Hence, the best way to break your intermittent fast is more complicated than it looks.
How to break your intermittent fast?
You are often left confused with what you need, to maintain a healthy lifestyle or how can you incorporate intermittent fasting into your daily routine. If intermittent fasting isn’t second nature for you yet, here is a guide to help understand the best way to break your intermittent fast.
1. Fix your fasting plan
There are two main types of intermittent fasting plans – the 16:8 fasts and the 24 to 36 hours fasts. The 16:8 fasts is usually implemented 5-6 times per week whereas the 24 to 36 hours fasts are carried out 2-3 times a week. Based on your fasting protocol, you would need to fix your meals for the eating window and accordingly plan your diet. Depending upon when and what you ate for your last meal, your first meal must consist of healthy nutrients like a high-fat, low-carb wholesome meal. The idea is to not binge on processed foods or high-carb sugary foods, which will only undo all your efforts of intermittent fast. Decide your fasting protocol and plan your next meal based on your shorter or longer type of fast.
2. Hydration is key
Your brain often confuses you to think that you are hungry when you are actually thirsty. Drinking water first and hydrating is the best way to break your intermittent fast. You could squeeze a lemon or add cinnamon powder to warm water or mix some chia seeds. All these will help you stay hydrated and cool your system. Avoid adding any flavoring powders or sweeteners of any kind. You could include green tea, soups, etc. in your diet during the eating period. Drinking a glass of water before your mealtime helps reduce your hunger. Cinnamon helps lower your blood sugar levels and is effective for weight loss. It also helps reduce hunger pains and slows stomach emptying. Chia seeds are rich in soluble fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Being hydrophilic, they absorb water and form a gel when soaked in water. This gel like mixture helps to reduce your appetite.
3. Moderate proteins
Fresh, lean and minimally processed proteins should be consumed. They can come from animal sources as well as plant-based sources. Lentils, legumes, beans, eggs, fish, chicken, turkey, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc. are some rich sources of proteins that can be included in your diet to break the intermittent fast.
4. Low glycemic index foods
Foods that are high on glycemic index will cause a large spike in your body’s insulin levels. Instead, choose foods with a low glycemic index in order to maintain your blood sugar levels. These foods are also gentle on your stomach and can help provide a nutritious meal while maintaining your body’s insulin response. A simple lentil soup loaded with non-starchy veggies that grow above the ground can be a delicious wholesome meal.
5. Natural fats
Don’t shy away from eating healthy natural fats. They should be the bulk of your diet during intermittent fasting. Natural fats take a longer time to get digested by the body. This results in stable blood sugar levels and these fats are used as the premium source of fuel by your body. Natural fats help maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels in your body. Your body fat is caused due to excessive intake of carbohydrates. Include fats like butter, ghee, olive oil, coconut oil, medium-chain triglycerides oil (MCT oil), nuts like almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, and seeds like flax seeds, chia seeds, etc. in your diet. This is the best way to break your intermittent fast.
6. Chew your food!
Take your time to chew your food properly. The first step of digestion starts in your mouth.By chewing your food thoroughly, you have broken down the food to be easily digested once it reaches the stomach. Your gut needs time to get back to the process of digestion. You have been fasting long enough and that results in a delayed production of digestive enzymes. Give your body some time to rev up and start releasing the necessary digestive juices.
Foods to avoid when you break your intermittent fast
While the above guide will help you understand how to break your intermittent fast, here is a list of foods that you must avoid while breaking your fast. These foods are high in calories and low on nutrients. Being harder to digest and causing more harm to your body, you should definitely avoid these foods during your intermittent fast.
· Soda and aerated drinks
· Fried foods
· Refined carbohydrates
· Processed foods
· Excessive caffeine
Maintain a healthy mix of the necessary nutrients and find out the best way to break your intermittent fast. The one that suits you and your body type. Eating healthy during your free window can help maximize your intermittent fasting efforts and improve your overall health. Consult your doctor now to understand what the best way is to break your intermittent fast!